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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Bob Jones University

The Collegian

In BJU return, Georgia Boy Choir to sing mix of worship, classical, lighthearted songs

Bob Jones University anticipates first Concert, Opera and Drama Series event of 2023-2024 academic year
Georgia Boy Choir. Provided by BJU.

Bob Jones University will host the Georgia Boy Choir, internationally reputed for its beautiful voice and musical excellence, for the university’s first Concert, Opera and Drama Series event of the 2023-2024 academic year.

The Georgia Boy Choir has toured throughout Europe, China and the United States, and has performed in Carnegie Hall, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Sistine Chapel. Their performance videos on YouTube have about one million views from over 170 countries.

Mr. David R. White directed several choirs in the South before establishing the Georgia Boy Choir in 2009.

“I grew up with this overwhelming love for great music and I always wanted others to love it as much as I do,” White said.

Mr. White is the son of Duane and Francis White, who were on faculty at BJU. He grew up on campus at BJU and often attended artist series events at Founders Memorial Amphitorium. He said coming back to FMA in 2014 to present his own artist series event was “fabulous, magnificent, surreal.” The choir enjoyed its first experience and is looking forward to its second visit, he said.

Boys start in the choir as early as five years old and continue until graduating from high school. After that, the boys have the opportunity to serve as chaperones and sing as alumni. For many of these boys, the choir is a huge part of their life. White takes his influence on the boys very seriously.

“I realize that we are dealing with these boys at the most impressionable time of their lives,” White said. “As important as music education is, personal development is even more (important).”

After each rehearsal, White encourages them to “be the best boy they can be,” and to make the right decision, no matter how difficult the circumstances. While touring internationally, the boys develop independence, responsibility and leadership as they mentor those younger than themselves. To challenge them further, each year awards are given to the boys that demonstrate the best leadership, character and excellence.

The impact of their experience is long-lasting and far reaching. White recollected the impact it had on one chorister.

“He thought that his situation was not going to allow him to be in the choir next year,” White said. “Late in the week he came to me with tears in his eyes, and said, ‘I can’t quit, because I have seen God while I was here, and I can’t give that up.’”

The concert will begin with “Stars,” by Ēriks Ešenvalds. The accompaniment for this piece is performance with tuned glasses of water. The first half of the concert will close with a piece by the same artist, “Trinity Te Deum,” an ancient prayer of worship to the one true God. The choir will be accompanied by instrumentalists from BJU. The second half of the concert will be more lighthearted, composed of pieces like sea shanties and spirituals, White said.

“We’re so excited about the Georgia Boy Choir returning to BJU for another wonderful concert,” Dr. Darren Lawson, dean of the BJU School of Fine Arts and Communication, said in a statement. “Founder David White masterfully conducts this talented group of boys. Don’t miss this opportunity to see this amazing concert!”

This event will take place at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 28, in FMA. All Concert, Opera and Drama Series performances are open to the public. Tickets for individual performances as well as season passes are available via BJU’s ticketing platform, Showpass, or by calling the Programs and Productions Box Office at (864) 770-1372 from noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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About the Contributor
Bethany Brooks
Bethany Brooks, Copy Editor
Bethany Brooks is an English Education major at Bob Jones University. She has worked as a writer for The Collegian for two semesters and tutors at the Writing Center. In her spare time, she enjoys writing, reading, hiking, and spending time with family and friends.
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